What is balance and why is it so important to our health and wellbeing?
Our sense of balance comes from a range of systems working together to keep us upright – and it allows us to go about our daily activities, correcting almost every move we make, so we don’t fall over. Most of the time, the balance system does its job quietly and unobtrusively – it’s only when something goes awry that we start to worry… a lot! Balance-related problems are one of the most commonly reported reasons for visits to the doctor.
We tend to take good balance for granted, however, when balance is impaired it can lead to dizziness, falls, fatigue and even hearing and memory problems. We maintain our balance thanks to the vestibular system that comprises a complex series of messages between the balance organs of the inner ear, our eyes, and our joints and sends those signals to various parts of the brain and throughout the body. It’s a complex and fascinating topic, and surprisingly most of us know very little about this mysterious sense.
Join us on Wednesday, 19 September, and hear from three HMRI affiliated researchers who will be happy to answer your questions about how equilibrium (balance) impacts our daily lives. At this seminar you will hear about the exciting research undertaken in the Hunter that’s exploring how the balance system works – through anatomical, physiological and molecular techniques.
Professor Alan Brichta is a neurobiologist with a research focus on the vestibular system and balance.
Dr Tom Wellings is a Neurologist at John Hunter Hospital who recently completed his PhD into balance and eye movements.
Dr Rebecca Lim explores the role that hearing and the inner ear plays with balance and the vestibular system.